Islamabad, Aug 18 (Just News): PM-elect Imran Khan today took oath as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan at a ceremony held at the President House.
A tearful Khan, clad in a traditional black sherwani, smiled as he stumbled over some of the words of the oath administered to him by President Mamnoon Hussain during the ceremony, televised live by the state broadcaster PTV.
He swore to “bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan”, and to “discharge my duties and perform my functions honestly, to the best of my ability... and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of Pakistan.”
As the ceremony concluded, Khan, 65, proceeded to the Prime Minister House, where he was presented a guard of honour.
The ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (President House) in the capital marked the end of decades of rotating leadership between the ousted PML-N and the PPP, punctuated by periods of military rule.
After taking the oath as premier, Khan and First Lady Bushra Imran, who had reached the venue before her husband, greeted various guests.
It was Bushra's first public appearance since their wedding earlier this year, and she appeared escorted by tight security and covered from head to toe in a white niqab.
Khan won a confidence vote in the National Assembly the day before and is expected to lead a coalition government.
The former cricketer, who captained the national cricket team to World Cup victory in 1992, fell short of an outright majority, forcing him to partner with smaller parties and independents in order to form a government.
Khan had invited the rest of the 1992 team to the ceremony, and fast bowler Wasim Akram was pictured smiling among the crowd.
Another cricketer-turned-politician, India's Navjot Singh Sidhu, was seated in the front row and earlier warmly embraced Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The oath-taking ceremony, which was scheduled to begin at 9:30am, started a little after 10am.
The ceremony commenced with the national anthem, followed by recitation of verses from the Holy Quran.
High-profile guests including caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and Naval Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi were present at the ceremony.
Other notable guests included senior PTI leaders, cricketer-turned-commentator Rameez Raja, newly elected Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, singers Salman Ahmed and Abrarul Haq, actor Javaid Sheikh and former National Assembly speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza.
The guests had been asked to carry their NIC or accreditation cards but not to bring with them any handbags, purses, mobiles phones or any other electronic gadgetry.-Dawn